Living Curriculum Education Philosophy

The basic tenets of Unity philosophy are:

Five Basic Unity Principles (for children and teens)

  • God is all good and active in everything, everywhere.
  • I am naturally good because God's Divinity is in me and in everyone.
  • I create my experiences by what I choose to think and what I feel and believe.
  • Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
  • I do and give my best by living the Truth that I know. I make a difference!

 

Five Basic Unity Principles (for adults)

  • There is only one Presence and one Power active as the universe and as my life, God the Good.
  • Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence, called the Christ, was fully expressed in Jesus.
  • We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
  • Through prayer and meditation, we align our heart-mind with God. Denials and affirmations are tools we use.
  • Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the Truth we know.
  • These principles are explored through the Living Curriculum philosophy.

 

What is the Living Curriculum philosophy?

Myrtle Fillmore believed our mission was not to “entertain the children, but instead, to draw them out.” The Living Curriculum is an approach or philosophy which affirms that the curriculum–that which is to be learned or known–already lives within the adult, child or teen, themselves. It moves us past the belief that teachers have all the answers and need to impart them to the students. Instead, there is a realization that all of us are uniquely unfolding on our spiritual path, having access to the Spirit within.

The Living Curriculum is a process of spiritual support used to assist children, teens, families, and the church community in co-creating successful living. It honors the inherent wholeness and wisdom within each one of us, and utilizes storytelling and experiential creative expression to “draw out” the Truth we already know. The process helps us to explore spiritual principles and to become aware of how the principles operate in our lives.

To assist in creating a meaningful, effective experience or lesson using the Living Curriculum philosophy, here is a six-point checklist as a guide:

1.    Identify which issue, theme, or need is currently active in your group's lives. Choose a story, movie passage, song, Bible story, or experiential activity that will introduce the issue/theme and help the participants connect to it.

2.    Write a brief intention, keeping it open-ended to allow for the outcome to be different for each individual. Start with words like: “to explore, discover, understand, experience, examine, feel or share.”

3.    Find a method to explore the issue or theme in order to make it relevant, for example: “wonder questions,” e.g. “I wonder what (the character in the story) thought/was feeling when ...,” role-playing, puppets, visualization, meditation, etc. The purpose is to move into the heart space rather than analyzing.

4.    Use open-ended questions, worded to avoid yes/no answers, to progress from safe, “out there” answers to more internal “in here” answers:

  • What is happening in the story? (Stay with the facts and save interpretation for later.)
  • How do you see this experience in the world? (Ask a bridging question that looks at how it is showing up in school, community, or the world.)
  • How do you see this experience in your daily life? How do you see yourself in this character? (Share personal stories both factually and from the heart, deepening community.)
  • How are you going to use this experience in your life? (Putting principle into practice)
  • How would you like it to be? (Seeing with the eyes of Christ, making different choices)

5.    Choose an open-ended activity to awaken the story within, for example: art activities, music, movement, games, journaling etc. Expressing spirituality is a multi-sensory experience.

6.    Allow time for participants to share, if they choose, what the experience awakened in them. Encourage action related to the story.

Questions to consider during lesson planning:

  • Which Unity principle does the theme or issue relate to?
  • What will I use for an opening prayer?
  • What question might help to transition into the remainder of the lesson?
  • What is an appropriate affirmation?
  • What song/s might fit will with this lesson?
  • What will be the order of the lesson?
  • How will I close the experience? Affirmation? Prayer?

 

Then open yourself again to guidance from Spirit. Allow the lesson to “perk” awhile. And revisit after a day or two.

Utilizing the Living Curriculum empowers each individual and assists them in more fully expressing the Christ within. For more information on curriculum based on this philosophy, visit www.UnityWorldwideMinistries.org/curriculum.